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I just wrote this piece after one of my friends asked me [#permalink]
03 Sep 2012, 03:11
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I just wrote this piece after one of my friends asked me about the difference between animate and inanimate objects, with reference to the topic Need / In need of from the Gmatclub's Ultimate GMAT Grammar book.
Need / In Need Of
Animate VS inanimate objects : Note
Animate objects are those that can perform the given actions on their own. Generally, we consider all objects that have life and movement to be animate objects. However, the definition is not true in certain cases (exceptions as we call them). In such cases, the object follows all the criteria that makes it animate, but the action cannot be performed by the object. The action must be done by someone else. Here we shall use the grammar rules of inanimate objects.
Inanimate objects are not able to perform actions on their own. Generally we consider all objects that do not have life and/or movement, to be inanimate objects. However, the definition is not true in certain cases (exceptions as we call them). In such cases, the object follows all the criteria that makes it inanimate, but the action can be performed by the object itself. No external entity is needed to do the action for it. Here we shall use the grammar rules of animate objects.
Usually, when the subject of a sentence is an animate object, the verb need is followed by an infinitive verb. – These use “need”, along with the infinitive verb ( ‘to’ + verb = infinitive form of verb; can be remembered by saying that we don’t know whether the verb action will actually take place or not, but is required to occur. Hence, its time frame is infinite, or better say undefined.)
Hector needsto get (to + verb) a haircut.
We needto leave (to + verb) now.
My dog needsto learn (to + verb) new tricks.
Usually, when the subject of a sentence is an inanimate object, the verb need is followed by either a gerund (or “ing” verb), or the verb to be followed by the past participle of the action verb.
The grass needscutting (-ing form of verb). OR The grass needsto be cut .
The motorcycle needsrepairing (-ing form of verb). OR The motorcycle needsto be repaired.
The guest list needswriting (-ing form of verb). OR The guest list needsto be written.
Be aware that there are some exceptions to these rules. Sometimes, animate objects follow the second rule.
My dog needsto be fed. (by someone else) – action cannot be done by animate object ‘dog’ on its own. Thus it becomes inanimate in consideration.
The baby needsburping (-ing form of verb). OR The baby needsto be burped.
Sometimes, inanimate objects follow the first rule.
The buzzer needsto ring before we can leave class.(buzzer is set… it can ring by itself, thus making it animate in consideration… If the statement had the action of ‘setting’ the buzzer, then we would have said –"the buzzer needs to be set before it can ring" – which follows the rule for inanimate object perfectly.)
The grass needsto grow more before I can cut it.
The expression in need of can be used in some cases in place of using the verb need. However, because the word need is not a verb in the phrase in need of, it must be preceded by the verb 'be'. [The verb “be” can take up any of the forms as – is, was, were, am, etc…]
Darren is in need of a haircut. (Darren needs a haircut.) The car was in need of new tires. (The car needed new tires.) The girls were in need of prom dresses. (The girls needed prom dresses.)
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GmatPrep1 [10/09/2012] : 650 (Q42;V38) - need to make lesser silly mistakes. MGMAT 1 [11/09/2012] : 640 (Q44;V34) - need to improve quant pacing and overcome verbal fatigue.
Re: I just wrote this piece after one of my friends asked me [#permalink]
19 Feb 2015, 07:46
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